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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War | [Max Brooks]

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
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Publisher's Summary

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the 12-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • Audie Award Finalist, Audiobook of the Year, 2007

"Hard to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (6007 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew Bozeman, MT, United States 12-03-10
    Matthew Bozeman, MT, United States 12-03-10
    ratings
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    3
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    "Interesting concept"

    An interesting and enjoyable concept, but I wish it was unabridged. The abridged version seemed choppy at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wilfredo Queen Creek, AZ, United States 10-19-10
    Wilfredo Queen Creek, AZ, United States 10-19-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I so wanted to love this"

    I love zombie apocalypse fiction, so why didn’t I enjoy this book? It’s because the book is comprised of a bunch of interviews with people who encountered the zombies. Throw character development out of the window because there isn’t any. Some stories (interviews) held my attention a little while others were, well… lame. Another thing, these are the slow shambling zombies that don’t run, jump, or open doors; so why is the world getting their butts handed to them by these things. It would seem like a blind man could take these things out. In fact, there is one story about a blind man fighting the zombies. By the way, flying an Apache helicopter at a dive angle low to the ground to cut off the heads of zombies isn’t going to happen. The blades would shred to pieces; just throwing that out there. So many friends recommended this book to me (when I say many, I mean like 3) and I can’t figure out why. Sorry if I offended anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damien Farmington, UT, United States 10-18-10
    Damien Farmington, UT, United States 10-18-10 Member Since 2012
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    "Awsome book, shame it's only available abridged."

    I can't stand that they don't have an unabridged version of this book. I held off buying it forever but I keep hearing how good it is so I broke down and bought it.

    This is easily one of my favorite books though, I will definatley listen to it several times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 09-28-10
    Steve 09-28-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Neat concept, short on content"

    This was enjoyable but I am used to listening to much longer audio books. I like the interview concept but, it just seemed to be lacking on content. Maybe the unabridged version would be better because I have heard great things about the print. Audible does not currently offer it though. Oh, the cast was great. Using multiple narrators made the interviews more realistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tovey MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada 08-28-10
    Tovey MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada 08-28-10
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    4
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    "Only 4 out of 5 because it's abridged."

    I did not read any reviews on this book before I purchased it. I needed a book quick(traffic jam a hour and a half long) and this was a book I had looked at before so it was in my mind when i went looking for a book to listen to. It turned out to be a great choice. It is well written, with an easy flow of the story that I look for in a book. the narrators a very good, I did not know who they were until I started to recognize voices and looked them up. I have many books in audible, and this one is going on my list of titles i will recommend to others. My 1 comlaint is it's abridged, I never have bought an abridged version before, and i wish this one wasn't so. It does not need to be shortened , it needs to be longer. I'm happy with what I have, but I wish it was the unabridged version. Thats all the reason for my giving it a 4 out of 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hizerb columbia, MD, United States 08-24-10
    hizerb columbia, MD, United States 08-24-10 Member Since 2014
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    "h.w. columbia md"

    I enjoyed the audio book. It was worth what I paid for it. I liked the way the book was read, and the charicters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 08-12-10
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 08-12-10 Member Since 2015
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    "I don't get what the other reviewers were reading"

    The book was good and well written but not what I expected. To me, there isn’t anything scary listening to someone give a recount about their experiences with the zombies. I guess I prefer to be in the action instead of hearing 6 hours worth of interviews with the survivors. The author should have written their accounts as flashbacks instead. Now that I could recommend but if your looking for blood, guts and gore; this ain’t the ticket.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Pittsburgh, PA, United States 08-02-10
    Joseph Pittsburgh, PA, United States 08-02-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It may be abridged, but it's still worth it."

    I almost never buy abridged versions of books because the process of cutting out parts of the author's story just doesn't make sense to me. The hordes of positive reviews for this one nudged me into giving it a try though, and I'm glad I did. World War Z was amazing in that it broke away from long and involved personal stories in a zombie apocalypse and instead gave snippets of stories from here and there around the world during different stages of the war. That all wove together to create a story that was very comprehensive, from what it was like for the few refugees who managed who evaded most of the zombie problem to the highest levels of various governments where the big decisions are made, without ever being dry.

    I think the most impressive thing for me were those that I saw as the real heroes of the book. It wasn't the gun toting zombie shooters who managed to survive the whole war (though they were awesome too). It was the bureaucrat's who stepped up and shouldered the stress and responsibility for the survival of the species. You could almost feel the crushing weight on their shoulders when they spoke or were spoken about and the decisions they had to make were revealed.

    Like everyone else, I'm disappointed that this was abridged, but if it's an option between reading the abridged version or not reading it at all this book is definitely worth the audio credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-29-10
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    35
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    "Still a great story, but suffers from abridging"

    Max Brooks wrote a wonderful and terrifying book of fictional stories from survivors from World War Z. When I first read the book, I was astonished by the realism of stories and how seemingly intimate they were. I felt as I would have been the narrator myself. This audiobook doesn't immerse me into that world as the book did. And because this was abridged, it was also shorter and to much of my disappointment the stories that were the most "horrifying" were left out. It made this audiobook a bit dull to my taste. Voice talents were absolutely brilliant, especially Alan Alda. I recommend this audioook, but if you can, buy it also as a book to get the rest of the stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Michaels Rochester, NY 07-12-10
    C. Michaels Rochester, NY 07-12-10 Member Since 2015

    SeeJayEmm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Read - Nice Voice Work"

    I enjoyed this book thoroughly. The story kept me hooked the entire time and the voice work was top notch. My only complaint (and it's a minor one) was some of the faux accents were tough to listen to for extended periods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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